View Poll Results: is cat6 triple the cost to purchase & install than cat5e?
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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from a cost standpoint i'm being told that the cost for cat6 installation versus cat 5e is 3x the cost. is this accurate/reasonable? i am building a new house and would like to have it as current as possible for a long time and somewhat feel like i'm being talked out of it. you're input is appreciated!!
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:00 AM
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What about the greater skill and time needed to make a good cat6 connection?

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Old 01-11-2008, 11:19 AM
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they're extremely cheap from monoprice.com
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:05 PM
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*wire cost-a few cents more but negligible
*pull-in/rough-in cost-the same
*Cat 6 keystone jacks and other devices-a bit more but not budget breakers
*finding a tech who can terminate and sweep test/certify to cat 6 specs-PRICELESS!

No harm and small extra cost to rough in cat 6 now, but if you want to go all the way and actually achieve the extra performance someday, it will cost a lot more if you use certified techs to terminate. OTOH if you intend to terminate yourself, the cost would not be much higher, however as Kevin implies, the skill level needed is higher and the end results may not be much better than 5e termination.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:09 PM
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The cost differential of cat5e wire to cat6 wire is not terribly great. However, the cost differential between cat5e and cat6 everything else is pretty significant.

Just as an example, a cat6 keystone jack from Leviton is about three times more expensive than a cat5e. Patch panels are way more expensive in cat 6.

So the total cost differential of 3x is probably pretty close, if not even a little low when extra labor is counted.

You might want to do a search on cat5e v cat6 and look at some of the threads that discuss whether there is ANY benefit to using cat6. I seem to remember that there really isn't unless you jump up to 6e or 7.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:00 PM
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I can see 20% - 30% higher on materials cost, but that's it.

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Old 01-11-2008, 02:37 PM
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Yeah, it seems that everyone is not considering INSTALLED and CERTIFIED costs, just the material costs. So, as to the original question, yes, I vote 3x. If you were just talking about the wire then of course not.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the feedback so far. i'm building a new house and have no desire to rewire if the need arises down the road, granted wireless will only become more reliable but it seems like i should go as far as i economically can when i'm at this stage. more feedback is appreciated!
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:26 PM
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5e supports gigabit - which is (better than) good enough for me.

I mean, I remember when there was going to need to be no more processing power than a good ol' 486dx - but seriously, it'll be a long time until folks outgrow gigabit. Most homes aren't even taxing 100Mbps.

Dunno.

To each their own though...

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Old 01-11-2008, 05:43 PM
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I could be wrong, but I was told my my installer that the shielded metal cat 5e keystone jacks, when used correctly, will allow the cat5e to test close to cat 6 standard. Like I said, I have no idea, I was just told this by my installer.

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Old 01-11-2008, 08:05 PM
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I don't know that 3x would be an accurate statement. Maybe 2x and that is stretching it if you inflate the cost of labor. Me personally I don't charge anymore to do cat 6 than I do for 5e labor wise since I am just as stingent with 5e as I am with cat 6. It comes from doing more cat 6 installs than 5e any more. I actually probably do about 80% cat 6 and 20% 5e. And regardless of 5e or cat 6 i test to specs but than again my service costs a bit more than your average electrician since I ain't an electrician. Don't know if that helps you any but there's my .02.
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:32 AM
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I come from a commercial Structured Cable background for commercial environments so my knowledge is more skewed to that. My company installs a few million feet of cable a year and we are probably installing more Cat5e now than 6 by 3 to 1. When Cat6 first became a standard a lot of companies were heading in that direction for future proofing. As there is about a 20% cost increase over Cat5e, everyone started realizing there isn't any benefit.

Cat5e can and does handle 1Gb Ethernet with no issues up to 100mtr. Cat6 doesn't give any more length capabilities and doesn't speed up a digital signal. Neither cable will handle 10Gb, although there is a drive to allow it for distances of up to ~100 feet (data center environments). As nobody is yet making 10Gb network equipment with copper interfaces, it'll probably be at least a decade or more before there's a need for that capability in the residential world.

A lot of the uses for UTP cable in residential environments is actually for signals that are converted for use over UTP or even analog circuits. Most of the limitations on these types of signals are more impossed by the converter, not the cable. Trying to run native digital signals straight over UTP can work for short distances some times, problems are more likely caused by impedence mis-matches than by the rating of the cable.

Bottom line, in my opinion, there isn't any reason to run Cat6 in your house. Cat5e is more than adequate to run anything designed for UTP (i.e networking) and has the same properties/limitations for other types of signals
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Habit View Post

Neither cable will handle 10Gb, although there is a drive to allow it for distances of up to ~100 feet (data center environments). As nobody is yet making 10Gb network equipment with copper interfaces, it'll probably be at least a decade or more before there's a need for that capability in the residential world.

While I agree that there's little to no need for Cat6 in a home, they do make 10Gbase-T switches that will push 10G over Cat6. Granted, they are $1,000 per port and there are no current 10G solutions for a desktop computer, you can put two switches (I don't believe it will work over Cat6 for more than 50m) together to make for a nice pipeline between two floors or two buildings. Very close buildings.

It's just a matter of time before the cost/port comes down and there are 10G pci cards. This is exactly how gigabit started.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:54 PM
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Hey Bad habit. I to work in the commercial, govt and residential feild for telecom and I am really surprised at the ratio of cat 6 and 5e that you say you install. Regardless of what the limitations of cat 5e and 6 are it seems that most people want cat 6 no matter what you tell them. For instance I just did a little job for a military recruiting office that receives dsl but they still wanted cat 6 for all there data. I even pull a majority of voice cables as cat 6 to. It makes no sense but that's just the way it's been. But I agree with everything you said as far as the needs for a residential infrastructure.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:07 PM
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Don't worry about sweep / test /certification to cat 6 specs. Install the cabling. If you need to re-terminate down the line that will be much easier than running cable through walls and ceilings. Go Cat 6.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by howdydoody View Post

Don't worry about sweep / test /certification to cat 6 specs. Install the cabling. If you need to re-terminate down the line that will be much easier than running cable through walls and ceilings. Go Cat 6.

Exactly what I was thinking! Pay a little more for the wire and the same amount for the labor right now. If/when the advantages of Cat 6 are available, then spend the extra for the labor. If there are never any advantages, you just spent a little more than you should have for wire.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:17 PM

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I'm curious what you would be streaming that requires 10GBASE-T? Wireless is already good enough to stream HD video and sound.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:25 PM

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CAT 6 cable is larger, comes in different gauges which would elevate costs based on the quality of cable used, copper is expensive now. Use a connector with a load bar and you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:30 PM
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I'm curious what you would be streaming that requires 10GBASE-T? Wireless is already good enough to stream HD video and sound.

I don't know, but if SOMETHING does materialize 5 to 10 years from now that would be better over Cat6, it would be nice not to have to replace the Cat5e. I just checked monoprice and for 1000ft, Cat5e ranges from $72 to $136 and Cat6 from $110 to $234. Depending on which grade you use, the price difference is not that great. Much less than it would cost 5 years from now if you have to re-do it. Again, I can't predict the future, but I would just feel better spending a little more now for POSSIBLE future protection.

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Old 01-15-2008, 05:37 AM
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It makes no difference what the cost difference is...The facts are : There is no difference with what you can do with Cat5e and Cat 6 Unless you are using VERY short runs. If you'd like to be ready for 10GB e in your home for some reason, then you'll want to look at Cat6A...and be ready for a big price increase.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:43 AM
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I'm not necessarily recommending it. I value my time enough that the additional material cost seems worth it to ensure the cabling is useful far into the future. I spent a lot of "quality" time in the attic, breathing through a respirator and bending/kneeling.

However, the cable diameter is nearly twice that of Cat 5e. Its jacket stiffness makes terminating it a challenge because the jacket overwhelms the wires.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:26 AM

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Its so funny to see this post!! You can get the cat5e jacks for the cheaper rates from an online retail shop like - firefold.com. Branded items with different colors too. Also they are the best wholesale sellers in the internet.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:01 AM
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Just had my house wired by a licensed electrician using Cat6. The total cost difference between Cat5e and Cat6 amounted to $50 (2 story plus basement, 12 runs). Figured it was well worth the extra money.

'Course, though....didn't do ALL my studying before so only went with 1 connection per room instead of 2 or 3
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:26 PM
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Kee in mind that this thread is almost 1.5 yrs old. The different in cost has continued to become smaller in that time period.

That being said, I still think cat5e wire works well for 80% of the use out there - even when considering future proofing your house. Telephone, RS-232, lighting control, IR distribution etc, etc, etc, will never need the added capacity of Cat6. Heck, for that matter, we may never see the need for the extra capacity in a residential network scenerio either.

I personally would not run cat6 throughout my house at this point. I would run some (perhaps 1 wire per drop location) but the majority of the house would still be cat5e.

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Old 06-05-2009, 12:52 PM
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Kee in mind that this thread is almost 1.5 yrs old. The different in cost has continued to become smaller in that time period.

That being said, I still think cat5e wire works well for 80% of the use out there - even when considering future proofing your house. Telephone, RS-232, lighting control, IR distribution etc, etc, etc, will never need the added capacity of Cat6. Heck, for that matter, we may never see the need for the extra capacity in a residential network scenerio either.

I personally would not run cat6 throughout my house at this point. I would run some (perhaps 1 wire per drop location) but the majority of the house would still be cat5e.

I just purchased 2 x 1000' spool of Cat6 to wire my entire house. I went with Cat6 because of future proofing and the cost between the two was not expensive. I know I could have gotten away with Cat5e but since the cost was minimal I decided to go with Cat6 because you never know what tomorrow brings. I would hate to want to do some type of upgrade and finding out Cat5e is not an option ten years down the line. I understand that happening is small but still, better safe than sorry.
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:20 PM
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I just purchased 2 x 1000' spool of Cat6 to wire my entire house. I went with Cat6 because of future proofing and the cost between the two was not expensive. I know I could have gotten away with Cat5e but since the cost was minimal I decided to go with Cat6 because you never know what tomorrow brings. I would hate to want to do some type of upgrade and finding out Cat5e is not an option ten years down the line. I understand that happening is small but still, better safe than sorry.

10 years down the line cat6 will be obsolete for most of us on this forum But you made the right move, as it will last longer than cat5e...

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Old 03-22-2010, 05:41 PM
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I am trying to figure out the differences in ethernet cables real quick as I am needing one 35ft cable to run from an xbox 360 to a wireless router. Thanks for the above post. I still am trying to hurry up and figure out what I need, but I am still confused. Do Cat 6 cable fit into the same jacks that a Cat 5 would fit into? (into the router and 360, for me?)
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:47 PM
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I am trying to figure out the differences in ethernet cables real quick as I am needing one 35ft cable to run from an xbox 360 to a wireless router. Thanks for the above post. I still am trying to hurry up and figure out what I need, but I am still confused. Do Cat 6 cable fit into the same jacks that a Cat 5 would fit into? (into the router and 360, for me?)

The RJ45 jack interface is the same. The connection style for the cables inside the jack seems to be slightly different...tighter tolerance in the break-out area?

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Old 03-23-2010, 04:26 PM
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Well I did a tiny bit of research and price checking on the cables. Thanks for the help. I did not have a cable for the length I wanted which was about 30'-35'. I went ahead and bought a RiteAV cat6 50' cable for $10 shipped from amazon. I had bought a 75' subwoofer cable from RiteAV recently and decided to use them again, only it was less expensive to get it from amazon(?). I felt fine getting a longer length and then going with a Cat 6, for only a few more dollars than the shorter ones or Cat 5.
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